The Society of Plastics Engineers' Thermoforming Division handed out $31,011 in matching grants last year to help universities buy thermoforming equipment.
Division Chairman Roger Kipp announced the grants Sept. 25 during the 2005 Thermoforming Conference in Milwaukee.
Also, the division awarded $5,000 scholarships to two students at the plastics technology center at Penn State University's Behrend College in Erie, Pa. Travis Hunter got the Griep Memorial Scholarship. The Segen Memorial Scholarship went to Joshua Sindlinger.
The scholarships are given to students who have shown an interest in thermoforming.
The division awarded matching grants for machinery to:
* Millersville University in Millersville, Pa., which received $10,000 to buy a Maac ASP thermoforming machine for the school's laboratory. MU is expanding its polymer program.
* Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pa., which got $1,011 to buy a tabletop thermoforming machine and molds for a student demonstration project that travels to high schools. The college operates the Plastics Manufacturing Center.
* University of Wisconsin-Platteville, which runs the Center for Plastics Processing Technology.
* The University of Birmingham in Alabama received $10,000 in matching funds to buy a Maac lab thermoforming machine.
In other educational news, the Thermoforming Division is promoting a DVD that explains the thermoforming process.
``We need to share what we've done as a process and what we can do as a division,'' Kipp said.
Thermoformers also are reaching out to other divisions of SPE. For example, this year's Thermoforming Conference featured workshops by SPE's Product Design and Development Division and Decorating and Assembly Division.